10 Replies Latest reply on Jan 7, 2010 10:23 AM by Steve Tran

    Simple question: How do you resize a text box? (CS4)

    flashmaster52240

      Don't know why this is so hard...but...all I'm trying to do is that once I've placed a text box onto the document and put some text in it, I'm unable to resize the margins (i.e. if the box was too wide, I don't know how to make the box into a narrower column). In every other adobe application, you just simply click on one of the corner anchor-boxes of the box outline and drag. In Illustrator, all that does is move the entire textbox around.

        • 1. Re: Simple question: How do you resize a text box? (CS4)
          Harron K. Appleman Level 4

          You might have inadvertently turned off bounding boxes.

           

          View | Show Bounding Box

          Ctrl+Shift+B (Win)

          Command+Shift+B (Mac)

           

          You can also resize a text box using the free transform tool, but do that only when you want the text to scale (rather than reflow).

          • 2. Re: Simple question: How do you resize a text box? (CS4)
            Jeffrey_Smith Most Valuable Participant

            If you click the frame and move all at once, you will indeed move the frame. But click the frame and move slightly inward (cursor turns to a diagonal icon), you will be able to adjust the height and width of the frame.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Simple question: How do you resize a text box? (CS4)
              Larry G. Schneider Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Use the Direct Select (White Arrow) tool and use it to select the edge you want to move. Make sure that the text is not underlined when you select the edge.

              • 4. Re: Simple question: How do you resize a text box? (CS4)
                flashmaster52240 Level 1

                Yep that was the answer...I knew it was something dumb that I did, because it seemed to work normal earlier. But I use Illustrator so infrequently that I just didn't know what was going on. Thanks much!

                • 5. Re: Simple question: How do you resize a text box? (CS4)
                  Steve Tran Level 1

                  First,  THANK YOU for answering this question! I was going nuts, and about to write a scathing naive post about why adobe didn't have this simple functionality in their flagship program.

                   

                  Secondly, what's the point of having it turned off or on? As far as I can see, there are only two extra handles and less functionality.

                   

                  Thirdly, why can't you hold down command button, and instead of resizing just the box, you can resize both box AND content

                   

                  Fourthly, WHAT IS UP WITH THE SCALE TOOL?! If I try to constrain the scale dimensions by holding down shift, it works about 30% of the time. The rest of the time it goes crazy with one of the axis, stretching it one way or another. Or it just flips it upside down or reverses it.

                   

                  Thanks!

                  • 6. Re: Simple question: How do you resize a text box? (CS4)
                    Harron K. Appleman Level 4
                    First,  THANK YOU...

                    You're welcome.

                     

                    Secondly, what's the point of having it turned off or on?

                    It's a matter of personal preference. Having the bounding box on makes it unnecessary to switch to the direct selection tool, and a lot of people find grabbing the sides or nodes with the direct selection tool a tad tricky when the object is unselected.

                     

                    Illustrator didn't always have the bounding box. It was introduced, as I recall, at version 9 (possibly 10). It was added, I believe, in response to users who were accustomed to having resizing handles in their desktop publishing applications... or in response to competing illustration programs that had this feature.

                     

                    I am one of those old-school guys who keeps bounding boxes off because I find them visually annoying. I just hit 'E' to switch to the free transform tool when I want resizing handles. You can do more with the free transform tool, too. I do turn on the bounding box sometimes when working with text boxes. (The free transform tool will scale the text along with the container, and that's not what one always wants.)

                     

                    It's different strokes for different folks, and in Illustrator you have the choice.

                     

                    Thirdly, why can't you hold down command button, and instead of resizing just the box, you can resize both box AND content.

                    Not sure what you're getting at here. Using the bounding box handles do, in fact, resize content (meaning the object it circumscribes). The bounding box is defined by its associated object. I don't see how you can resize just the bounding box without affecting content.

                     

                    Fourthly, WHAT IS UP WITH THE SCALE TOOL?!

                    Well, it works fine for me in AI 12 (CS2). You might be describing normal behavior, however. The shift key constrains the scaling to either the vertical or horizontal axis, or to force proportion-constrained scaling along both axes. It all depends on the direction in which you drag your mouse (or other pointing device). Play around with it; you'll get the hang of it.

                     

                    You might also find the free transform tool more intuitive for simple scaling.

                    • 7. Re: Simple question: How do you resize a text box? (CS4)
                      Steve Tran Level 1

                      This video illustrates the inability to scale a textbox with its contents using the handles.

                      • 8. Re: Simple question: How do you resize a text box? (CS4)
                        Harron K. Appleman Level 4

                        Not sure what your video demonstrates, Steve, but I think you're just showing how things are supposed to work.

                         

                        First of all, you're talking about an area text object ("textbox"), and you didn't make that clear in your previous post.

                         

                        Second, I stand by what I explained. Using the bounding box resize handles on a text box affects its contents -- to wit, the text reflows. That's exactly what is supposed to happen. If you want the text to scale along with the box, then you should use another tool, such as the free transform tool.

                         

                        Can you see why you would want one or the other (reflow or scale) depending on the situation? You might want to change the shape and/or size of a text container without changing the font, causing the text to reflow within the container. At other times, you might want the text to change in size and, possibly, distort along with the change in the container's proportions.

                         

                        Now you know how to do both.

                        • 9. Re: Simple question: How do you resize a text box? (CS4)
                          Steve Tran Level 1

                          I understand that it reflows. My questions was "Thirdly, why can't you hold down command button, and instead of resizing just the box, you can resize both box AND content". So instead of reflowing, it scales the text when you hold down a command button while dragging a handle. This ability is available in both Freehand and InDesign by holding down shift+option.

                           

                          Think of it practically. If you've just finished typing your copy, and you want the whole thing larger. What happens if you hit the E key to choose the transform tool? It types the letter "E".  Thus, you have to point and click with your mouse to select the transform tool from the tool panel. Or, you have to deselect your text box, then use the E shortcut. Either way, the point of the "keystroke shortcut" is lost, because it is no longer short process.

                           

                          It would be so much easier to simply hold down a command button and drag to scale.

                          • 10. Re: Simple question: How do you resize a text box? (CS4)
                            Harron K. Appleman Level 4

                            So, you're asking Why doesn't Illustrator work the same way as InDesign and Freehand? Is that right?

                             

                            If so, the answer is I don't know. I am just an Illustrator user like you.

                            What happens if you hit the E key to choose the transform tool? It types the letter "E".  Thus, you have to point and click with your mouse to select the transform tool from the tool panel. Or, you have to deselect your text box, then use the E shortcut. Either way, the point of the "keystroke shortcut" is lost, because it is no longer short process.

                            Just press the Esc key to exit text editing mode. Esc then E isn't that bad. Yes, it's not the same as InDesign and Freehand, and, no, I don't know why.

                             

                            It would be so much easier to simply hold down a command button and drag to scale.

                            I agree. Illustrator sucks. Nobody but Adobe can solve this problem. I would put in a feature request.

                             

                            In Illustrator, there is also no simple modifier-key that momentarily gives me the hand tool while in text entry mode, like there is in InDesign.* That drives me nuts.

                             

                            *There is this convoluted thing you can do -- press and hold Cmd, then the space bar, then release Cmd (still holding down the space bar) -- that will get you the hand tool during text entry. Not nearly as simple as in InDesign, where you simply press and hold the Option key to get the hand tool. In Windows it's even more convoluted: press and hold Ctrl, then the spacebar, then the Alt key, then release Alt and Ctrl.